Product Exclusion: The Big Reason Behind The Delay of LEED 2012
By now, you have probably heard that the USGBC has decided to delay implementation of its previously named “LEED 2012″ rating system. What you might not know is exactly why this is happening. Rest assured that the decision was not made willy nilly – LEED 2012 had many industrial groups running for the hills.
I have spent the past few weeks reading a number of articles on the backlash. LEED 2012 was intended to create a seismic shift; it was not a mere update. A strict focus on reduction of chemicals, created mass panic that a large number of material providers’ products would essentially be banned from green projects – meaning most local, state and federal projects.
Want the specifics? LEED 2012 embodies a staunch stance against use of chemicals on building sites and in building enclosures. Despite the fact that foam installation, newer plastic piping and synthetic roofing membranes help buildings become more efficient, they might be Twenty trade groups representing plastics, synthetic and chemical material groups have lobbied to force the General Services Administration (GSA) to ditch a proposal to move to a green building standard that was penned by the USGBC and modeled closely after the newly-prioritized principals in LEED 2012. The lean on the GSA was a significant problem for the USGBC – the GSA is their largest customer.
Want the numbers? The USGBC received over 22,000 responses objecting to the implementation of LEED 2012. Wow. In response, the USGBC pushed back the vote to approve LEED 2012 until 2013 – effectively requiring a rename to LEED v4.
If you have yet to see the Landrieu-Vitter letter (penned by the Louisiana Senators with the same names), you can check it out by following this link. 18 total Senators wrote to the GSA demanding that they reconsider implementation of the USGBC’s proposed new building standard. The letter outlines the Senators’ displeasure with the new standard, calling it “arbitrary” and stating that the USGBC has provided ”no evidence that avoiding existing materials will result in improved energy efficiency.” Most importantly, the letter outlines the perception that thousands of jobs might be lost.
If you were wondering “why the delay?” – I hope that this points you in the right direction. For the USGBC, it is back to the drawing board to calm the fears of lawmakers. Unfortunately for them that means first appeasing the producers who stand to lose the most.
Sustainable Cities Collective